All is set for the trial of House member Farouk Lawan for allegedly receiving $620,000 bribe to doctor his committee?s report on fuel subsidy investigation.
His trial will begin this week, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) said at the weekend.
Lawan, Chairman of the House adhoc committee that probed the fuel subsidy payments by the Federal Government, is to face trial for allegedly receiving $620,000 from the oil magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, to exclude Zenon Oil from the list of indicted firms.
Otedola alleged that the Lawan-led adhoc committee demanded $3 million, out of which he gave $620,000.
Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo last Tuesday threatened to begin private prosecution of Lawan should the AGF fail to bring the lawmaker before the court.
But, the minister on Friday told reporters in Abuja that the trial of the lawmaker will start this week.
Adoke spoke through Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), who has secured the AGF?s fiat to prosecute Farouk.
Reacting to Keyamo?s statement on the issue, Awomolo said the office of the AGF is too responsible and busy to react to ?market talk?, but that he is sure that the police have finished investigating the allegation, and they have made verifiable facts to the AGF to enable the government begin prosecution of the lawmaker.
??Verifiable facts can only come from the police that investigated the matter. You don?t investigate such matters base on what you read in the newspapers or heard over the radio and television. No; that is not investigation. The police, as a responsible organisation have investigated the matter and I can assure you that the AGF will not react to the market talk. The matter will be in court next week.??
??We will prosecute and not persecute. We are men of integrity, honour and learning. Nobody should think that he can use the market language or draw us to open debate on this matter. We are not a civil society organisation.
??The AGF is the chief law officer under the Constitution and he will exercise his power responsibly and not irresponsibly to satisfy whims and caprice of civil society organisations. Prosecution is a serious business and a serious statutory duty; it is not a frivolous thing; you don?t do it to catch fancy or to make people to hail you. These are persecutors and not prosecutors.??
Keyamo had requested Adoke to indicate whether he was prepared to prosecute Lawan or not.
Keyamo accompanied the letter with a draft charge in readiness to begin prosecution of Lawan, if Adoke fails to do it.